By the authority vested in me, pursuant to part II, Article 44 of the New Hampshire Constitution, on May 11, 2011, I vetoed HB 474.
States should not interfere with the rights of businesses and their employees to freely negotiate contracts. That is unless there is a compelling public interest, and there is no compelling public interest in passing this legislation.
There is no evidence that this legislation will offer any benefits to New Hampshire's economy or workers.
As I have said repeatedly, New Hampshire has an economic strategy that is working. New Hampshire has one of the strongest and fastest-growing economies in the nation. We have one of the lowest unemployment rates and one of the highest median incomes in the nation. We are considered one of the safest states and one of the healthiest states, and a high percentage of our citizens have private health insurance.
New Hampshire has a lower unemployment rate and a stronger economy than most states with so-called right-to-work laws. In states with a right-to-work law, workers on average have a lower standard of living, bringing home less in their paychecks and going without health insurance more frequently.
In my time as a CEO, in my years spent in the private sector turning around companies, and in my seven years as Governor, I have never seen the so-called right-to-work law serve as a valuable economic development tool.
In the last seven years of recruiting businesses to move to New Hampshire, not one business leader has ever even asked me if New Hampshire had a right-to-work law, let alone suggested it was a factor in the company's location decision. No New Hampshire business leaders have ever told me that the lack of a so-called right-to-work law prevented them from expanding or hiring new workers here in New Hampshire. And no New Hampshire workers have ever told me they couldn't get a job because New Hampshire doesn't have a so-called right-to-work law.
The debate over the so-called right-to-work bill in New Hampshire appears to be largely driven by national outside interest groups, and is not a result of problems facing New Hampshire businesses or workers.
There is no justification in this case for state government to interfere with the right of private businesses to freely negotiate and enter into contracts with their employees. Therefore, I am vetoing HB 474.